A young NASCAR driver has just solidified his plans for the 2022 season. Colby Howard will join McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, the team behind Derek Kraus, as the organization expands to a two-truck operation in the Camping World Truck Series.
McAnally-Hilgemann Racing announced the move on Thursday, Sept. 9. The team also confirmed to “Frontstretch” podcast host Davey Segal that there would be two trucks on the track each week and that this deal is for multiple years. McAnally-Hilgemann Racing is currently working on finalizing all of Howard’s sponsors for the upcoming season and will provide the details in the coming weeks.
“We’re pleased to have Colby join our team for 2022, as we look to expand our Camping World Truck Series program,” said team co-owner Bill McAnally in the press release. “Colby comes from a racing family and brings with him an extensive racing resume. Most recently, he had an impressive run in the truck series race at Darlington last week.”
Howard Primarily Competes in Another Series
The move to the Camping World Truck Series will mark a change in Howard’s driving career. He primarily competes in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and has 43 combined starts in 2020 and 2021, all for one team.
Howard started 22 races for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller in 2020, driving the No. 15 Chevrolet at a variety of tracks. He consistently contended inside the top 20 and posted a season-best finish of 12th at Daytona International Speedway on Aug. 28, 2020.
Howard returned to the team in 2021 for another season. He has suited up for 21 races in the No. 15 Chevrolet and posted a best finish of 16th at Phoenix Raceway on March 13. The 19-year-old will finish out his part-time schedule with the team and then make the move to the Truck Series, where he only has three previous starts.
“I’m really excited to be joining a team of this caliber,” Howard said in the press release. “I feel like it’s a big step in my career. I’m really looking forward to going there next year and working with Bill and all the guys – being competitive and going for wins and a championship.”
Derek Kraus Will Not Lose His Seat for 2022
With Howard joining McAnally-Hilgemann Racing on a full-time basis, there are automatically questions about Derek Kraus and his future with the team. However, McAnally told Segal on Thursday, Sept. 9, that the 20-year-old driver will not go anywhere after the 2021 Truck Series season comes to an end. The team owner said that they have been working on a deal to bring Kraus back in 2022 and that they will make an announcement after finalizing it.
The driver of the No. 19 NAPA Toyota Tundra is currently in his second full-time Truck Series season, both with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. He made his full-time debut in 2020 and posted 13 top-10 finishes and three top-fives during the 23-race season, including a runner-up behind Ben Rhodes at Darlington Raceway on Sept. 6, 2020. Kraus missed the playoffs but finished 10th in the season standings.
He returned to McAnally-Hilgemann Racing for 2021 and continued to contend, albeit with fewer races inside the top 10. Kraus posted one top-five finish and four top-10s in the first 17 races of the season, turning in his best performance at Knoxville Speedway (Iowa) on July 9. He won the pole position and then finished the day in fifth after avoiding the multitude of on-track incidents.